8-year-old Mesa boy boats 3.8-pound largemouth bass

The cramps and spasms exploded in the 8 year old’s hands and arms. Mark McGrew, Jr. had hooked into a roughly 4-pound, 20-inch largemouth bass on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Saguaro Lake (Razorback Point).

The third fish of his life turned out to be a trophy for the kid from Mesa. Jigging a silver spoon on 6-pound test line, with an ultralight rod, McGrew tugged the bolting bass from 65 feet of water depth – hence, the piercing cramps.

The technique: McGrew, Jr. would drop the spoon to the bottom, let it sit, then jig it back in.

“The whole way in,” said McGrew Sr., “the pole was bent and I thought it was going to snap at any moment.”

The fish was caught at 2:30 p.m. “We had read the fishing report about yellow bass at Saguaro Lake and Mark Jr. started out fishing over Butcher Jones with no success,” McGrew Sr. said. “We then headed toward Shiprock and decided to stop and try Razorback Point.”

Fifteen minutes later, McGrew Jr. had a fishing moment he’ll likely replay his entire life. “He’s wanting to go again now – that’s for sure,” McGrew Sr. said.

Persistence is key when fishing with kids. McGrew Jr. had caught only a bluegill in his the first three fishing trips of his life. But the fourth yielded bass of 3.8 and 1.7 pounds that McGrew Sr. said were weighed on a Berkley digital hand scale.

“We just got a boat two months ago,” McGrew Sr. said, “and have been out fishing three other times with no success. Perseverance paid off.”

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